Pictures that Persuade

How can images help inspire actions?

Before the Civil War, slavery was legal(allowed by law) in the United States. An enslaved person was owned by someone else and could be bought and sold like property. Enslaved people were forced to work against their will. In the United States, many enslaved people were black. Many owners of enslaved people were white.

In 1777, the Vermont Constitution outlawed adult slavery. But that did not end slavery in Vermont. And slavery was still allowed in other parts of the United States. Abolitionists(people who tried to end slavery) thought that slavery should be ended in all states. They tried to convince the government to outlaw slavery in the United States.

Abolitionists printed a booklet called the Anti-Slavery Almanac in 1840. The abolitionists used words and pictures to describe the horrors of slavery.

Look at the picture from the Anti-Slavery Almanac. Think about these three questions.

  1. What is happening in this picture?
  2. What message is this picture sending about slavery?
  3. How would a picture like this convince people that slavery is wrong?

Think about an issue that is important to you. Draw a picture to persuade other people to agree with you.

Activity developed by Sarah Budlong, Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.

Vermont Historical Society. "Pictures that Persuade." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed April 14, 2021.

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